Alexander County, NC – Running events across the world, nation, state, and county have been canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Alexander County, several races have been rescheduled with races planned for later in the year still on schedule.

Upcoming races include the 6th Annual Vertical Mile Challenge Trail Race, the 10th Annual Robin’s Run 5K, the first-ever Vertical Night Challenge, the 7th Annual Race to the Cove 5K, the 23rd Annual Alexander County YMCA Apple Festival 5K, and the 4th Annual Run for the Dogs Trail Race. The Hospice Run to Remember 5K has been canceled, and 2019 marked the final Rotary’s Reindeer 8K Romp.

Vertical Mile Challenge Trail Race AND Vertical Night Challenge Trail Race

The 6th Annual Vertical Mile Challenge (VMC) trail race has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 15. The race, which was originally scheduled for June 20, will be held at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area beginning at 8:00 a.m. This extreme race has grown significantly since its inception in 2015.

New this year will be finisher awards for 5-Year VMC Finishers – those who have completed 5 VMC races. Also new this year is the “Vertical Double Buckle” — a special belt buckle for those who finish both the VMC and VNC in 2020!

The Vertical Night Challenge Trail Race is set for Saturday, October 3 at 6:00 p.m. at Rocky Face Park. The race details for the VMC and VNC are the same – the only difference is the sunlight or lack thereof. In both races, runners must complete eight (8) laps which will total 16+ miles in distance while ascending and descending the equivalent of a vertical mile – 5,280 feet. In addition, there will be a Half-Vertical Night Challenge in which runners must complete the loop four (4) times for 8+ miles.

The course for both vertical mile races begins and ends at the bottom of the cliff face directly behind the parking lot. The course is paved for a short distance and then becomes a typical single-track trail. After approximately 1/2 mile, runners will begin the climb up “Stairway to Heaven.” At the top of the climb, the course goes down Hollow Rock Trail to Buzzard Loop Trail to the end of the loop at the start/finish area.

The entry fee for either race is only $25, which includes a t-shirt; however, you must finish the race to receive the event t-shirt.

View 750+ photos from the 2019 VMC on Google Photos at Read more about the VMC and VNC races at

Robin’s Run 5K

The 10th Annual Robin’s Run 5K & 1-Mile Fun Run has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 3 with the fun run at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K at 9:00 a.m. The event begins and ends on Matheson Park Avenue in Taylorsville. Register online at

This is an annual event held in memory of Robin Rockett Bowen and to support the foundation created in her honor. Please join us on this special run in memory of Robin, who was tragically hit by a car and killed while running on Christmas Eve 2010. This run is sponsored by the Robin’s Run Foundation. Proceeds of this race will be split between church missions and youth athletic scholarships in keeping with Robin’s passion for church and athletics.

Cost for the 5K for ages 12+ is $20 (by September 25), or $25 thereafter. Cost for the 5K for ages 11 and under is $15 (by September 25), or $20 thereafter. Cost for the 1-Mile Fun Run is only $10 (by September 25), or $15 thereafter.

Race to the Cove 5K

Area runners are invited to participate in the 7th Annual Race to the Cove 5K Trail Race at Hickory Cove Bible Camp on Saturday, October 10 at 9:00 a.m. The camp is located at 170 Ferguson Lane in Taylorsville, on beautiful Lake Hickory. Come on out and join the fun, whether you run or walk! All pastors and church staff members receive FREE entry into this year’s race (call 828-632-2987 for details).

The Race to the Cove is a chip-timed race. The race is a trail course that travels along the trail system on Hickory Cove Bible Camp’s property. The course includes hills, trails varying in size and terrain, stream crossings, water stations, and volunteers along the route.

Entry fee is $25 if registered by September 28 (race t-shirt included), or $30 from September 29-October 3, and $30 on race day (cash or check only that day). A free race t-shirt is guaranteed to those who register by September 28. Register online at

The awards ceremony will be held lakeside. After awards presentations, registered racers can enjoy popular camp activities like archery, slingshots, axe throwing, and hot dogs & s’mores over the campfire all FREE of charge! If you have children ages 3-10, bring them along as there will be free supervised kids activities during the race. All proceeds from the race will benefit Hickory Cove Bible Camp in support of its mission to be a place where God continues to change children’s lives.

YMCA Apple Festival 5K

The public is invited to participate in the 23rd Annual YMCA Apple Festival 5K & 1-Mile Fun Run on Saturday, October 17 at Matheson Park in Taylorsville. This is the oldest race in Alexander County. Online registration is coming soon.

Sponsored by the Alexander County Family YMCA, the one-mile fun run begins at 8:00 a.m., with the 5K run/walk event to begin at 8:30 a.m. This race, which attracts hundreds of runners from Alexander County and the region, is great for runners, walkers, beginners, strollers, families, and all ages. The 5K course is certified, and chip timing is used. After you finish the 5K race, be sure to visit the 32nd Annual Taylorsville Apple Festival.

Run for the Dogs Trail Race

The 4th Annual Run for the Dogs Trail Race is set for Saturday, November 7 at Rocky Face Park. The event is being held in conjunction with the Rocky Face Rock Climbing Festival that same day. There will be three (3) race distances: 4 miles, 8 miles, and 12 miles. All races start at 8:30 a.m. at the multipurpose building. Participants are asked to bring some dog and/or cat food for the Alexander County Animal Shelter.

Entry fee is $10 for any distance if postmarked by November 5. There is an additional $5 fee for all races after November 5 including race day. T-shirts are not included in the registration fee. Please include an additional $10 if you would like to purchase a long sleeved t-shirt. Race t-shirts are not guaranteed after November 5.

Visit for registration information. All proceeds from these races will go to the Alexander County Animal Shelter. Race-day registration is available from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m.

Participants may run the race with their dog; however, all dogs must be on a short leash, be non-aggressive, and be up-to-date on rabies vaccination. Runners with dogs will start in the back of the pack at the race start.

Run to Remember 5K

Race organizers have decided to cancel the 2020 Run to Remember 5K, which was originally set for November 21. Make plans to participate in 2021 and support Hospice and Home Care of Alexander County.